Suburban man charged with robbing juveniles on downtown Red Line trains

Thomas Collins | CPD

A suburban man is facing felony charges in connection with the robberies of two juveniles in separate muggings aboard Red Line trains in the Loop during January. The robberies were the subject of a community alert that police issued on Jan. 22.

Police said 18-year-old Thomas Collins of south suburban South Holland was identified as the man who threatened to shoot a 14-year-old boy if the juvenile did not hand over his valuables while riding a Red Line train near the Roosevelt Red Line station around 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 8. 

Two days later, Collins displayed the handle of a handgun as he robbed a 16-year-old boy on a Red Line train on the 100 block of North State around 1:40 p.m., police said.

Prosecutors charged Collins with felony aggravated robbery and felony robbery with a firearm. He is due in bond court on Wednesday afternoon.

Collins has been locked up at the Cook County Jail since Jan. 29 on charges unrelated to the robberies. CPD arrest records show that Collins was arrested for turnstile jumping at the Lake Red Line station on Jan. 7, the day before the first robbery he is accused of committing. He was arrested again at the Jackson Red Line station on Jan. 14 for an unspecified warrant, records show. 

Editor’s note: The CPD media alert stated that the Jan. 8th robbery took place on the 1100 block of North State at 3 p.m., however, CWBChicago learned from other city records that the correct address is on South State and the correct time is 2:25 p.m.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is